If you have been feeling emotionally stressed, overloaded, or chronically tense this past year, know that you are not alone.
Anxiety is no stranger to us. Those racing thoughts and on-edge feelings may be painfully familiar. Even before the pandemic, the prevalence of anxiety has always been significant. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an average of 31.1% of adults experience anxiety in their lifetime.
Things have only gotten worse in the last year. COVID-19 has severely affected our mental health, raising the risk of anxiety due to the uncertainty, isolation, and stressors that it brought along. For some of us, this virus felt like a tornado wreaking havoc at home, work, and even our sex lives, making it challenging to stand our ground.
In fact, a poll issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) revealed that approximately 4 in 10 adults had reported symptoms of anxiety or depression as of January 2021. This number marks an increase from 1 in 10 adults reporting these signs between January and June of 2019.
Whether the pandemic brought unfamiliar anxiety symptoms or worsened our already fragile mental well-being, we are all in this together.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety is an innate human response to a threat, fear, or stress. We may feel anxious before a difficult conversation or a test, which might help us remain sharp enough to succeed.
But, when anxiety becomes long-lasting and unmanageable, it can cause distress and disrupt our lives.
Common signs of severe and unhealthy anxiety include:
- Constant worry or nerves
- Lack of concentration
- Irritability or moodiness
- Panic attacks
- Doom-and-gloom mindset
- Sweating or trembling
- Trouble sleeping
Do I Need Anxiety Treatment?
You can apply some strategies to deal with pandemic stressors on your own (e.g., regulating social media content, self-care).
However, if you are suffering from one or more of the above signs of unbearable and long-term anxiety, it’s time to seek professional help.
Psychotherapy is an effective form of treatment for unhealthy anxiety.
How Can Therapy Help With Pandemic Anxiety?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been traumatic for so many of us. Traumatic events like this world crisis tend to ramp up societal stress and anxiety, thus increasing people’s need to find quick ways to numb the suffering. For example, this may include escalating drinking habits to cope, as indicated by Laura Kwako, Ph.D., a health scientist administrator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Over time, instead of escaping it, unhealthy strategies like prolonged alcohol consumption can actually cause more anxiety and turn it into a pretty damaging cycle.
Therapy for anxiety can help you step away from this spiral. A licensed professional therapist will help you understand your symptoms, change unhelpful patterns that may be contributing to them, and find healthier ways to navigate anxiety.
With the proper support, letting go of constant worry and stress is possible.
Here at Let’s Talk Psychological Wellness, we provide therapy for anxiety to adults in New York City and beyond, which is particularly valuable during this period of adversity. We offer teletherapy so you can access treatment from the comfort and safety of your home.
If you or your loved ones are struggling with anxiety, we are here for you.
Contact us today for more information.